Ideas of what to charge and what activities to have for children I will be caring for in my home?

Question:I will be taking care of children in my home and I need ideas for activities I can do with them and how much should I charge per week, should I make contracts? I want to watch children that are 2 to 4 years old, because I have a two year old that is home with me and I want children that are close to his age. I want to provide them with educational activities that will be fun but inexpensive. Anything else I should consider?

Answers:
Check the home daycare laws with your local OCFS (Office of Children and Family Services) . Check with your homeowners Insurance company about any additional coverage you should consider adding to your policy. Check with a lawyer about any legal issues you should be concerned about. GET CERTIFIED IN INFANT/CHILD CPR and FIRST AID. Take a course on child abuse identification. As far as educational activities and things like that, I would suggest getting some simple crafts, books, videos and things like that. Also, outdoor recreation is a big plus. Have a safe outdoor swingset or other play items for kids in your yard. Check out these web sites: www.orientaltrading.com; www.kidsdomain.com. As far as "what to charge" for your services, I'd say call some local daycares in your area and ask what they charge, then you can get an Idea of what people are paying. Do you want to charge a flat daily rate, or an hourly rate? Good luck.
You should charge about $3.00-$3.50 an hour per child. Make sure you advertise that you want to watch children of that age limit.

Some fun activities would be playing with Play-Doh, coloring, taking nature walks and playing outside, putting together simple puzzles, watching tv shows (but limited tv time), and doing sticker pictures.
there is SO much involved in running a successful home daycare. I did it for 15 years while my 3 daughters were growing up. There is even more now to be concerned about. I agree with the first responder that you need to check with your insurance and possibly a lawyer as well as the regulations for home daycares in your state. I hate to say it, and don't want to sound like you don't have enough experience, but if you are asking what you can do with the kids, etc. then I really think you should first (or at least concurrently) take some Early Childhood Education classes at your local community college. At the very, very least, please go get aome books about operating a daycare from your home- there are many of them- as well as good books regarding teaching toddlers. There are also great books loaded with arts and crafts ideas for kids. You need to come up with a viable schedule, much like any other preschool or daycare, which would include free play, story time, music, outside time, snack times, lunch time, naps, arts&crafts, learning opportunities such as ABC's and counting, things like studying weather and seasons, etc... having a "theme" for each week or month makes it easier to come up with related activities/ songs, etc for the whole time. You can get inexpensive preschool posters to make the room bright, cheerful and look more educational and professional to parents. make sure you have a good supply of books- can always make a library run once a week- loads of those fat crayons, glue, washable markers, stickers, feathers (anything you can think of you can get at Michael's Craft Stores) for projects, construction paper, go to the Goodwill to get funny old clothes to play dress up (including heels, neckties, hats, etc- they love it), nice to have a play house type area with a kitchen and baby care area with plenty of dolls of all types, and so, so much more!! Also, make sure you have disinfecting stuff to clean toys and other surfaces every day and if your planning on potty training (which I guess you will with those ages!) get ready!! As for what to charge and contracts... yes, call daycares in your area or ask moms what they pay so you can get an idea of what they charge in your area. I know my daughter was paying about $160 a week in Las Vegas for a 2 yr old and pays $115 a week in TN now. That's at a daycare chain, so I would guess you would charge a little less. Absolutely carefully think out what you want your policies to be as far as when to pay, late pick ups, whether they have to pay during illness or vacation (I say YES to hold their spot) and to make clear your policy on discipline, naps, poty training, who provides food/diapers,etc.
I know this is long winded! But, you are going to be in charge of and essentially raising, other people's children- an awesome responsibility. It's not as easy as you may think, but it's definitely rewarding! I've been doing it for 36 years and am a professional nanny to a wonderful family now that my kids are grown and I have several grandchildren. Hope this helps get you on your way! Good Luck

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